KENNESAW – Mount Paran Christian opened its season Friday night with a 55-7 win over visiting Our Lady of Mercy.
The Eagles (1-0), who reached the state semifinals last year and are the defending Region 6A champions, came in ranked No. 6 in Class A.
“We felt like we could jump out to an early start,” Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan said. “I think we’re going to have some mistakes, like always, in Game 1, but I’m just proud of the guys for executing, getting into the end zone and making some stops.”
After the Eagles’ Landin Jackson blocked a punt on the game’s first possession, Niko Vangarelli ran 5 yards for a touchdown, giving Mount Paran a quick 6-0 lead.
The Eagles soon got a second touchdown run from Vangarelli from 2 yards out, making the score 13-0, before adding more first-quarter points when John Robert Sess scampered 20 yards into the end zone to push the advantage to 20-0.
After Mount Paran received a punt to start the second period, Jack Allen’s 3-yard touchdown burst was followed by Jackson Manning’s blocked punt for a safety as the Eagles went up 29-0.
A 7-yard touchdown run by Allen put the score at 35-0 before Mount Paran added more points on the final play of the half. From the Our Lady of Mercy 48-yard line, Vangarelli completed a pass to Sess, who fumbled at the 3, but Allen recovered it in the end zone, making it 42-0.
With the ball to begin the second half and a running clock, Mount Paran picked up where it left off as Matthew Moore’s 7-yard touchdown rush upped the lead to 49-0 with 6:06 remaining in the third quarter.
On the next snap, Our Lady of Mercy (0-2) avoided a shutout when Bryson Mullins raced 80 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was good by Ashton Hennie-Road, which put the score at 49-7.
Following a lost fumble by Mount Paran, Our Lady of Mercy lined up for a 27-yard field goal but botched the snap. The play ended with an interception by the Eagles’ Moore.
Mount Paran concluded the scoring with a pair of freshmen doing most of the damage on the ground. A 76-yard run by Sam Griffith-Tesch set up Luciano Corpora-Ellis’ 2-yard touchdown, increasing the final score to 55-7 with 9:39 to go.
Joe Hyland chipped in with a late interception for the Eagles.
Mount Paran used a balanced offensive attack. Also, Parker Rostowky made five extra points, and all seven of his kickoffs went for touchbacks.